Coconut Shy – Kerala – 3

Extract from Sports the Olympics Forgot

Another spectacular event is the coconut shooting, where coconuts are catapulted across the sky for shooters to try and hit with their double-barrelled shotguns. This is in imitation of clay-pigeon shooting in the UK. The police have to be on hand to ensure that no one is injured by stray pellets when retrieving the shattered coconuts from the ground. Major EJ Williams from Simla won the most coconut shooting titles with 12 victories between 1924 and 1946, although his name is rarely used at the contest because of his infamous 1945 quote “I’d rather be shooting tigers than these bloody flying coconuts. Fetch me a whisky and soda.”

There are some rather spectacular field events involving coconuts, which were added after the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the first ones to be held in Asia. The first event was the Coconut Putt, where the idea is the same as the Shot Putt, namely to hurl the coconut as far as possible using a shot putt technique. The record putt is 98 feet 4 inches by Maxim Gordov from Belarus in 1998.

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